Junior Ashley Johnson will be participating in the Miss Teen USA Pageant . The picture on the left is her evening gown and the one on the right is her interview outfit. Listen to what she has to say about the process in this interview.
Mole Day, October 23, is an important day in the science world because it celebrates the number 6.02 x 10^23.
To celebrate Mole Day, chemistry teacher Erin Cothran’s class exploded pumpkins. “In chemistry we write balanced equations which can create molar ratios. The equation used to explode the pumpkins is gone over in class, balanced and discussed, then we go outside to see it in action.” In total, six pumpkins were exploded that spelled out M O L E 2 3.
In addition to exploding pumpkins, Cothran’s class goes over a handout that relates the entire day to the curriculum standards and listens to the “Mole Day song.”
Mole Day is the science department equivalent to “Pi day” that the math department celebrates. “This number allows scientists to quantify numbers of atoms, molecules and even ions in substances. It is a way for us to work with amounts of elements and molecules that we can actually see, so it is really important,” Cothran said.
Students seemed to be excited about exploding the pumpkins and look forward to doing it again next year.
Halloween arrived earlier on Wednesday night as Hudson High School students kicked off the season of costumes, candy, and trickery, with the annual Haunted Physics Lab.
Honors and advanced placement physics students, dressed as ghouls, presented a variety of interactive physics projects to the hundreds of local families, students, and teachers in attendance.
This year, the Haunted Physics lab enters its seventh year, but it wasn’t always such a big event. “When I first started here, they already had the [Haunted Physics Lab],” said Robert Van Buren, the event organizer and Hudson High School teacher. “What I wanted to do is make it bigger and bigger each year, building off the year before.”
The Haunted Physics Lab is centered around one theme – Halloween. “We have taken the idea of Halloween and applied it to a variety of projects,” said senior Johnny Petrovick. “ There is liquid nitrogen ice cream, fake blood, a pumpkin man that interacts with the kids, all projects that appeal to kids and fit the Halloween theme.”
Students from Van Buren’s advanced placement and honors physics classes create the multitude of fun, kid-friendly projects each year; providing a great opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge of physics in a fun and challenging setting.
The Haunted Physics Lab has been in the making for the past several weeks. “Planning is a difficult process,” said senior physics student Connor Roberts. “We are using a lot of projects from previous years, so we have to make repairs and add on to those projects so they work properly. We also build new machines, so there is a lot of work involved there. It has been a long run getting to this point.”
Each year the students design and create a new project that will be incorporated into the event in future years. Van Buren, a former engineer, pushes his students to create an original project. Students research a particular aspect of physics, and then they build a test, and go through the testing process, until they create a whole new project.
This year’s projects ranged from a Van de Graaff generator to a concert, performed on a theremin and guitar. “Each project is different and shows a different element of physics,” said Van Buren. “Every station is managed by students, so it allows students to master knowledge on a specific aspect of physics.”
Above all, the Haunted Physics Lab aims to create an interest in science for younger kids, by highlighting the interesting and fun projects and illusions involving science. “The event is a really great way to bring the more obscure parts of physics to the public, in an interactive and interesting way,” said Roberts.
“The lab allows an application of science to the public. Physics usually happens in these far off places, but this event allows us to bring the science to the public,” said Van Buren. The fun, kid-friendly projects are a great way to start an interest in kids from a young age, so they will possibly pursue science in school or even for a career path.
This year’s Haunted Physics Lab was an overwhelming success. A young boy leaving the Lab may have put it best: “That was the coolest science lab ever.”
I recently surveyed 150 students in grades 8-12 to see how students would feel if Mr. HHS returned this year. Spirit Committee has considered hosting this competition again, depending on how many students would pay to see the show and how many kids would sign up for the competition. Hopefully these results will help Spirit Committee decide what their next step will be in regards to the competition.
The new part time Career Pathway Specialist Scott Darlington has developed a new resource for juniors and seniors, which he refers to as the Career Pathway Center. There students can get guidance and resources that will better prepare them for life after high school.
Darlington is at all lunches, every day. He walks around telling students about what his program offers, and his new stand, located outside the main office, has additional information.
Darlington is also in the process of establishing H block, a paid internship with local businesses.
“We don’t educate students about careers, but expect them to choose a career after high school,” Darlington explained.
Although, the development of H block is still in the beginning stage and many of the specifics have not yet been finalized, such as the businesses involved, Darlington has confirmed, the internship will take place during February and April break, and students will be paid minimum wage.
Statistics show that under fifty percent of students that graduate from Hudson High get a college degree. Darlington’s goal is to target these students that don’t get a degree at a four-year school and to help them explore alternative careers or schooling options.
Darlington’s philosophy is you don’t need a college degree to succeed. He believes, “Everyone has something they love, but making a career of it doesn’t always require a college degree.”
Darlington believes the Career Pathway can benefit all students, even those who are planning to go to a four-year school. Seventy percent of students that start college never get a degree. Oftentimes financial situations change, or students decide that college isn’t for them.
Darlington want to help those students whose post graduation plans deviate from the traditional route of a four-year college or university.
Many students felt unsatisfied after the Homecoming pep rally.
Eighth grader Vicky Tuttle had much to say on the issue; from the start, she had very high expectations. “I loved participating all week in Spirit Week and couldn’t wait for this rally,” Tuttle says. “Once we got into the gym it really felt like our official start to high school, dressed up all in red and white, sitting with my friends, feeling like we’re a part of it.”
But Tuttle felt there were drawbacks to being in the youngest grade. “It seemed like it was all about the seniors,” Tuttle said. “They won every award, they were the loudest, and nobody else really got into it.”
Tuttle says that she was confused by her grade’s “Most Spirited” picks. She felt that those students had not really gone over the top for Spirit Week.
She also has some suggestions for possible changes. “There needs to be more entertainment involved in future pep rallies, like a cheer routine. There needs to be something to get the crowd involved and pumped up,” Tuttle says. “I really hope we can make them better.”
The cheerleading squad could not participate this year to the same extent that they did in the past because they did not have all the members they needed to perform their competition piece. One member was absent for a college visit.
Senior Andrew Hatch also felt disappointed. “Most rallies before have had more music, dancing, and entertainment, but this one was lacking.”
Energy level was not an issue in Hatch’s mind, as he felt almost everyone in the school was on their feet and screaming to win “Most Spirited,” for example. The problem, Hatch believes, was the fact that there was not a whole lot going on. “I was bored for much of the rally,” Hatch says. “We were kept in the gym for about an hour, but it seemed like there was only about a half hour’s worth of activities planned.”
Hatch, however, does credit the cast of Godspell for trying to liven the crowd. “The Godspell performance could have helped make up for [the lack of energy and entertainment], but many of the instruments were nearly impossible to hear.”
He also had some suggestions for upcoming rallies. “To improve future pep rallies, there needs to be more engaging and entertaining activities performed. The dance team, gymnastics team, or cheerleaders could create a routine for the rally. Local bands could play. We could also play games like we do during field day, or a creative skit like Turkey Day.”
Spirit Committee member Shay Waldsmith believes that a crunch on time and a lack of involvement were to blame for any issues with this year’s rally. “I think the rally went okay considering the amount of time we had to prepare,” Waldsmith says. “The preparation process was not as successful as we hoped. For this rally, many students contributed in the making of the banners.” However, the spirit committee definitely needs more members, according to Waldsmith. “The same people attend the meetings and the majority of them are females,” she says.
Waldsmith agreed with what Tuttle and Hatch had to say about students’ reactions to the rally.
“At times I got a little frustrated with getting ready for the rally,” she says. “I think everyone was thrown off when we heard the rally was going to be almost a month earlier. We were rushing to get the banner done. We did not have time to add words to the bottom of our banner. The seniors were also really disappointed that they did not have time to organize a skit. ”
For the future, Waldsmith believes that specific changes need to be made with these rallies. “I think the big thing to do in the future pep rallies is to give everyone more time to prepare,” Waldsmith says. “I do not want the only reason why we didn’t include traditions is because we didn’t have time. I also think more kids will catch wind of what is going on and join in on the planning. Kids need time to plan their outfits for spirit week so they can go full out. Overall, I think time is crucial in having a successful pep rally.”
Like Waldsmith, Spirit Committee adviser Pam Porter believes the fact that the rally was a month earlier had a lot to do with it not meeting the expectations students set. “With the new schedule, change in advising, and 5C it was difficult to meet with students and get the planning under way.”
In addition to that, there were a lot of things taken out as a result of the time crunch, like the senior skit and cheerleaders’ routine.
Porter also commented on student involvement. “Participation in planning has been down the last two years, especially boys,” she says. “My first year as an adviser we had our best numbers. I think students know that their will be a rally either way so they don’t care to help. However, if it was canceled I am sure tons of them would complain. ” It is this that Porter believes must be changed in order to improve pep rallies.
“I hate seeing students complain about the rally, the letters, or the t-shirt designs when they did nothing to help. I would like to see students make it better on their own. All of the events put on by Spirit Committee are supposed to be student run. In the past the only thing that has gotten students’ attention is the cancellation of event (like field day a few years ago). ” Porter believes that we, the students, must take charge of this issue and work together. “The student body has to take ownership over the events not just Spirit Committee. If that doesn’t change then I don’t think the rallies will.”
There are still a couple more rallies left to get ready for, such as the Thanksgiving pep rally and Field Day. With participation low, only time will tell if the students of Hudson High will be able to change the face of our school’s spirit.
The yearbook committee needs your help. With 25 signed up for the committee, only four editors and three to four committee members attend these meetings.
“The new schedule limits when people can stay after,” senior Erin Farquharson says. There are only so many extra help days with teachers. Since many students stay after on those extra help days, they are not able to attend committee meetings.
With yearbook lacking committee members, it could affect when the seniors receive their yearbook. “The book could be delayed. They might not get the book till after graduation,” Yearbook Adviser Sherry Arsenault says. Students could possibly have to come back to the school to pick up their yearbook.
This delay is not the only problem with this situation. “It’s stressful for the few students there. It seems like the memories of our whole senior class are up to us four to put together,” Farquharson says. They have all the work placed on their shoulders.
Students can gain so much from the experience. “Being in the yearbook committee has many benefits like learning journalism skills, being creative, managing time, online design,” Arsenault says. “And colleges love it!”
Meetings are Tuesdays and Thursdays right after school and Wednesday 6-8 in T102. Most importantly Mrs. Arsenault brings food!
National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society will be getting a new adviser this year. Assistant Principal Joshua Otlin has decided to advise both clubs. Everyone involved in these clubs either as a member or as an adviser feels it’s an important club to students.
“Anything that allows us to recognize academic achievement and displays of leadership is important to have at school. National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society allow us to showcase the work that students do. The idea of citizenship and community service is important for students to have as an option when in school,” said Principal Brian Reagan.
There was question as to whether these clubs would be able to continue this year.
“I was having a hard time finding advisers for both clubs, and if no advisers had stepped in, it is certainly possible that NHS and NJHS would have been cancelled for this year,” said Reagan. “Unfortunately being principal of the school I am unable to be the adviser for these clubs, but Mr. Otlin really helped me out by agreeing to be the adviser.”
Otlin also felt that these clubs were important.
“Well I wanted to be the adviser when I saw that no one else was,” said Otlin. “It’s important to have a formal way to honor their achievements. I think it’d be really disappointing if we, as leaders of the school, weren’t able to provide the honor society to students. When no one stepped up, I decided instead of crying about it I was going to do it.”
Advisers in previous years have planned inductions, helped members earn their community service time, and helped pick candidates to apply for the honor societies.
“As of right now the induction ceremony is still unknown, and we have normally done it in May, but we may do the event earlier this year because May is a busy month for both students and teachers,” said Otlin. “Also the earlier students are inducted the more time they have to be an official member of the honor society. If they are inducted in October of their junior year, they would have a total of 16 months as a member before they graduated.”
Members of these clubs were happy to hear that both of these clubs would continue this year.
“I really enjoyed being part of Honor Society,” said junior Hannah Carroll. “It was a really great feeling to be recognized. I remember my favorite moment in Honor Society was when we were planning the “Crush for a Crush” fundraiser, where we sold sodas at lunch for Valentine’s Day; it was tons of fun.”
Students were worried about the possible loss of the honor societies.
“If there had been no advisers for Honor Society, these next few years I wouldn’t be able to become a member of National Honor Society, which would affect my college applications because I feel I wouldn’t have many volunteer opportunities without the help that the advisers provide,” said sophomore Sam Johnson.
Even though there will be a change of advisers, Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society will run same as always.
“I don’t have any plans to re-invent the wheel. I’m just looking to sustain it,” said Otlin. “I want to work with students and encourage and help them with achieving their goals and their community service hours just like in past years. Also even though I will be the adviser of both clubs, I have no intention of combining meetings or shortening the meeting times. Students can expect the clubs to be run just as they have in the past years.”
Honor Society members can expect their first meeting to be held in late October, and from there all meetings will be held regularly. Members can start working on their community service hours.
At any high school, anywhere in the country the tradition of homecoming is one of the most important events of the school year, but has homecoming lost its value at Hudson High School? With a frantic search for a hawk and a senior skit in jeopardy, Hudson High’s spirit is slowly dying.
The school year started with an inconvenience when Spirit Committee found that they only had a month to organize Spirit Week and the pep rally. Less than 20 people made the effort to show up making planning even more stressful.
“Pajama day was just stupid; practically everyone comes to school in pajamas or sweats anyway,”said freshman Jack Snow.
“We can’t do what they like unless they tell us what they like,” said sophomore Kaylie Blais.
Finding a volunteer for the Hawk has proved to be more difficult than Spirit Committee had anticipated. Students just don’t have the motivation to do it.
“It’s depressing because the hawk is such a big part of Spirit Week and Homecoming,” said senior Emily Metivier.
If students have school spirit, what is stopping them from being the hawk?
Adding on to the chaos of the search for a hawk, the seniors skit is gone. After the students failed to turn in a draft of the script on time, no skit was performed at the pep rally. “I feel like we failed as a grade,” said senior Alison Eadie.
What has changed about homecoming? We asked Spirit Committee advisor Pam Porter what homecoming was like when she went to Hudson High School. “We always did a lot as a class and a school together…We had more events too…It helped build school unity and made it a great place to come to school every day.”
“If nobody has school spirit, it’s just not a good time,” said senior Alex Sleeper
Last spring the Hudson School Committee decided to enforce a clause in the teachers contract known as 5C. This has been part of the teacher’s contract since 1973, but it has never been strictly enforced. In previous years, teachers were required to stay after school on the first Monday of every month and attend various other meetings throughout the month as needed; the rest of their after-school time they dedicated to providing after-school help for students. This year teachers must attend a meeting every Monday. One other day of the week they must attend team meetings, and then on one of the remaining days teachers offer after-school help.
“I go to Mr. Caron’s room, and I like to play the piano, but so far this year I’ve only been able to play the piano twice in three weeks, when last year I could play almost every day. But now his meetings affect when people can go [in his classroom] and practice music,” junior Cole Magruder said. He feels that he never has time to practice the piano anymore. Magruder says 5C affects students in the arts as well as athletes at Hudson High School.
Magruder feels that he might struggle this year to finish his homework at a reasonable time, especially during lacrosse season. “During lacrosse season I used to stay after with teachers, so I could get stuff done because my lacrosse games used to go late,” Magruder said. It might be harder for students to play sports and get extra help due to the confusing schedules the teachers have after school.
Brothers Matt and Jack Snow, both members of Community Council, participate with other Community Council members in the 5C committee to help students deal with the changes brought on by 5C.
Many students feel sad and upset that they cannot participate in clubs that they were in last year.
Jack Snow says that the 5C committee is going to try to solve some problems to help students get the extra help they need after school and to try to make sure clubs like the Scribbler, Glee Club, National Honor Society, and the Gay Straight Alliance can happen.
That hour after school when students wait for clubs and athletics to begin can be a problem. “With all the teachers in meetings, there’s nobody supervising them really, and they’re kind of out wandering a little bit more, and I guess my concern is when students have nothing to do and no place to be, the potential for them making bad decisions could increase,” math teacher and coach Joe Lentino said. Many other students have to take the late bus home at 3:15, only allowing for an impractical 10 or so minutes of help before they need to go.
Last year at a school committee meeting, parents and students alike expressed concern over how 5C would affect after-school clubs. Some clubs have been able to adjust, but some are really struggling to schedule around 5C. The drama program has changed rehearsals for Godspell from two days a week to three because of the hour of rehearsal time lost while director Kathleen McKenzie is fulfilling her 5C obligation. From 2-3, the cast learns music with outside Musical Director Stan Hansen.
While the drama society has adjusted to 5C, other clubs and activities are finding it hard to maintain club attendance, since many activities are now scheduled on overlapping days. Jeanette McLellan runs the Glee Club, and since jazz band runs on the same day, students now have to choose between these activities, whereas last year they could be involved in both. Because of this, unless Glee Club can find a different day to meet, it may not run this year.
Gay Straight Alliance has stopped meeting every week, now favoring one or two meetings a month, so students are not forced to choose between after-school help and this club.
National Honor Society is still looking for an advisor. Guidance counselor Megan Dubay was the former advisor, and she is still sending emails to the students offering community service opportunities, but because of 5C she may not be able to advise the group. Guidance counselors have 5C time as well because they are under the same contract as the teachers. Dubay is trying to plan her busy day after school, including picking up her children from daycare. “It used to be more flexible,” said Dubay, and now teachers “have to find a way to make it work.”
Another great program that may not be able to run this year is a peer tutoring program that has previously been run by special education teacher Jessica Byrd. The program gives students with special needs a chance to interact with regular education students after school in a way that is not possible during the school day.
Students really enjoyed walking the track, doing arts and crafts, and playing basketball with their tutors whom they really look up to. The program is “a good experience for the peer tutors that would maybe like to go into the field of special education. It gave them an opportunity to learn about disabilities, how to handle certain behaviors and situations,” said Byrd.
This program would have to run right after school, since the students cannot be unsupervised for an hour until 3:03 when the group could theoretically start. Special education students take a bus home after school, and they would definitely not be able to return at 3:03. So instead of hanging out and having fun after school, they just go home.
Athletics is a huge part of what goes on after school at Hudson High; many teachers are involved as coaches for various sports teams. Fortunately, many sports have off campus coaches who can start practices, but coaches like Lentino “like to be a part of everything. Not being able to be out there before practice and do my part to make sure the kids know what they’re supposed to do is tough. Sometimes I’m running out and they’re already in the middle of a drill,” he says.
“Personally, I always feel like I’m neglecting them a little bit, because they’re not getting my full effort.” Girls field hockey coach Jen Wallingford finds that 5C is all “about being very tightly scheduled. Three days a week I’m in meetings. One day a week is for the kids, and the other two I am hustling out to get the bus [to away games.] It really doesn’t leave a lot of room for getting teacher things done that are on a practical list of things to do…correcting papers, making detailed class plans.”
Perhaps the biggest concern around 5C is after-school help. Will students be able to get the help they need if teachers are only after school one day a week? English teacher and sophomore class advisor Susan Menanson says, “Meetings impede students getting extra help when they need it.” Most teachers offer their extra help day on Tuesdays or Thursdays for one hour.
“I feel like the anxiety level of most of the students has increased,” Lentino says. “They’re looking to try to do the right thing and get extra help, and we’re not available for that right now. A lot of people have had a really hard time because they’re trying to hit all their teachers in this short amount of time.”
“Most people don’t realize teachers use a lot of time for students,” Menanson says. Teachers are in early, sometimes use their lunchtime to help students, and they would still leave late anyway. “It’s wrong to say: we’re going to make you stay because you don’t stay” because most teachers did stay after school before 5C anyway. Menanson says teachers are “not trusted to do the right thing, and we should be, because our hearts are in the right place.”
According to teachers’ union leader Michael Nanartowich, “At this point in time there is no communication about 5C between the association and the school committee.”
Since it is only the beginning of the school year, the impact 5C will have on student life, their academics and their extracurricular activities, is yet to be seen.