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by Abby Appel

The entire ninth grade class went to see a private screening of  The Fault in Our Stars movie after reading the book by John Green earlier in the year.


Alicia Sagastume rocks a “TFIOS” shirt to show her support for the movie.


Freshmen wait in the cafeteria Friday morning for the buses to come.


Students finally get to board the bus.


Students try to contain their excitement as they board the bus.

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by Madison Peck

Since January, Scott and Stephanie Kall have been working on a  science fair project with their advisor Julie Snyder to determine if tea tree oil can stop yeast infection, particularly the “Candida albicans” yeast.  They presented their project at the state science fair on May 2 and 3.

They used a process of yeast streaking, yeast inoculation and yeast swabbing on filter disks soaked in tea tree oil as their test, and  as a posi2014021995115335tive control they used Nystain, which is a prescription used to fight yeast infections.They also used as a negative control sterile water and dry disks. This provided clear results, and they could tell what the effects were.

“We measured the zones of inhibition around the filter disks, which are just circles around the disks where the yeast didn’t grow. We gathered our results through observation and statistically, and we found that tea tree oil is indeed effective in inhibiting the growth of the yeast.”

“I had seen tea tree oil used in a lot of places and was curious to see why.  I asked them to look into it, and they found it to be 2014021995115437antifungal,” Snyder said. Scott and Stephanie looked up what type of fungus tea tree oil will react to, and they found out it is active against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections. They tested three types of tea tree oil on this species of fungi, and they found it to be active.

 In addition to Snyder’s reasons for this project, Scott and Stephanie also wanted a “real, hands-on science experience.” They “thought testing a new possible treatment for an infection using a common household item sounded really cool.”

Believe it or not Scott and S20140502_155653tephanie liked working on the project together. For most people working on a project with their sibling would be a nightmare, but for the Kalls it was enjoyable. “We work really well together, and we bounce ideas off each other with ease and our ideas flow easily,” Scott said. Although at first it was nerve-racking, it all worked out perfectly.

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by Marc Imbillicieri

The annual Shakespeare Competition will be held on May 2 during Block B. Competitors will memorize and perform a sonnet and monologue for a panel of three judges. First prize will be $75, second $50, and third $25. This is the first year that Hudson will not send the first place winner to Boston for the state competition.

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by Jack Snow

Health and physical education teacher Wendy Sweet will be retiring at the end of this year.

Sweet has been working at HHS as a physical education teacher for over 18 years. Starting as a part-time dance teacher, Sweet has taught a variety of courses ranging from basic physical education to yoga and even dance. During the majority of that time, she has worked alongside teachers Carolyn Weed and Dee Grassey.

Weed and Grassey first started teaching with Sweet somewhere around 15 years ago; both have seen first-hand how dedicated and caring Sweet is as a teacher and colleague.

“She has a way of personally connecting with her students on a deeper level than most teachers,” says Weed. “She is especially able to include and engage her special needs students in a way that is wonderful and inspiring to see. Working with Wendy is wonderful. She is one of the most caring people I know, and she makes me laugh almost every day. She is always willing to give you an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on.  She is like my ‘work mom.’”

Like Weed, Grassey has enjoyed working with her.

“Wendy is caring, kind, talented, and a great communicator who loves life,” says Grassey . “She has taught me a lot.”

Their time spent collaborating with Sweet has always been filled with new and exciting adventures.

“She always makes me laugh,” Grassey says. “Going to conferences with Wendy is always a blast especially when she tries to teach me how to dance; I still can not dance, but that’s ok. We also taught a yoga class together, which was an awesome experience.”

The news of Sweet’s retirement was met with only the sincerest happiness from both Weed and Grassey; although upset at having to see their friend go, they expect nothing but great things from her as she progresses into the next chapter in her life.

Beyond physical education, faculty members from other departments have also expressed their reaction to Sweet’s retirement.

Director of Health, Nursing, and Safety Jenny Gormley has served as Sweet’s supervisor for a number of years and has observed her classes. Gormley says that she will miss having Sweet on staff, as she has been an essential member of Hudson’s physical education program.

“Ms. Sweet conveys caring and understanding of the whole student and his or her challenges, while maintaining high expectations for students learning strategies that support physical and emotional well-being,” says Gormley. “ I will miss Ms. Sweet’s reflective and thoughtful approach to providing a quality wellness program to HHS students.”

Principal Brian Reagan has also expressed his thoughts, looking back and appreciating the contributions she has made to the physical education department.

“Since the development of the wellness program, [Sweet] has continued to incorporate yoga, but she has helped her colleagues learn to implement some of the techniques as well,” says Reagan. “Mrs. Sweet is very passionate about her work and truly cares about her students.  After so many years of hard work supporting students in Hudson, I wish her a healthy and happy retirement.”

Even as Sweet plans to move on from her work at HHS, one thing is certain; her legacy will always live on. Through her introductions to new areas of physical wellness to her bright, welcoming smile, Sweet has changed the face of Hudson High School and will always be remembered as an incredible teacher, colleague and friend.


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Taylor Benson, Brooke Mega, Andrew, Edj Andrews, Buren Andrews, and Andrew Nugent have been selected to participate in the All-State Music Festival.
Taylor Benson, Brooke Mega, Andrew, Edj Andrews, Buren Andrews, and Andrew Nugent have been selected to participate in the All-State Music Festival.
Taylor Benson, Brooke Mega, Andrew Doherty-Munro, Edward Andrews, Buren Andrews, and Andrew Nugent have been selected to participate in the All-State Music Festival.

by Brian Twomey

Six students are performing at All-State Music Festival on March 20-22 at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. Seven students from Hudson High were selected to audition to participate in All-State, and six made it. Usually schools are lucky to get one or two of the students selected to audition, according to chorus teacher Jeannette McLellan.

“It is always very competitive. There are many extremely talented and serious music students in Massachusetts,” McLellan says. Students have to achieve a high enough score at their district auditions to be invited to audition for states. The six students this year were not invited to audition last year, so they have worked hard to be accepted for this year.

Some of the students participating in All-State have been hoping to go to All-State since eighth grade. Most of the students who made it are juniors and seniors with one sophomore.

The students worked hard to prepare for the auditions. “I spend time with them if they request it, working on the audition piece. And, all the work they do in Camerata, Band, and Chorus is the foundation for their success.”

It takes serious dedication and patience to go all the way to the states.   “All six students are serious music students who have been in band and/or chorus for 4 or 5 years at least. Several take music (piano, violin) outside of school as well.”

“This has been a goal of mine for three years,” junior Andrew Nugent said. He has been practicing  twice a week for four years to reach this level. “I feel honored to participate.”


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by Erin Farquharson

Senior Sarah Hollis held a benefit volleyball tournament Friday, February 28, in the HHS gymnasium.  All proceeds went to the DCF Kids Fund, which is the organization she chose to work with for her Social Justice service project

Social Justice students are required to do a service project throughout the year for a cause that means something specifically to them. Hollis chose to work with the topic of child abuse. “I love love love children. And the thought of children being abused or neglected breaks my heart,”  said Hollis, “and anything that I could do to brighten these childrens lives, I wanted to do.”

She decided to support the DCF Kids Fund which supports over 40,000 children across Massachusetts who have been abused, or left alone, providing them with basic necessities and many enrichment opportunities. Supporting so many children, the DCF Kids Fund is really in need of donation money and supplies, and a volleyball tournament proved to be a great way to raise money for this great cause.

The night of the tournament was a success. Eight student teams, 2 referees, and many supporting spectators participated in the event. Each team had a creative name and uniform that uniquely represented them as they went through the single elimination games. Each game was played to 25 points; math teacher Mallory Masciarelli and Dan Fahey served as referees. The last two surviving teams, Spiked Punch, and Ballsagna, played an intense three games. Spiked Punch won in the third game, 25-21.

But they weren’t the only winners. Hollis raised over $350 to donate to the DCF Kids Fund with the help of student participation and many generous donations. “I was shocked at the outcome for the event, and I raised so much more money than I could even hope for,” said Hollis.

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Carol Hobbs reading through her practice MCAS packet during her after school session
After school on Thurs. March 6, six tenth graders stayed after for Carol Hobbs MCAS poetry session.
After school on Thurs. March 6, six tenth graders stayed after for Carol Hobbs’s MCAS poetry session.

by Kaylie Blais

Last year the tenth grade class exceeded expectations on the MCAS test with over 60% of the grade scoring in the advanced category, and this year the tenth grade class is hoping for similar results. Like last year, the teachers have run MCAS prep sessions since February 3, and they will continue through March 13. The sessions focus on the long composition and reading comprehension.

According to English teachers Amy Vessels and Susan Menanson, the attendance numbers are about the same as last year with 6-9 students a session for the long composition and nonfiction sections. Unfortunately, the attendance for the poetry sessions on Thursdays is lower. Students need to attend these sessions, since MCAS data from previous years show that students struggle with the poetry sections of the test.

“Most students have trouble with open response questions, and they seem to have quite a bit of trouble from Poetry. I think that as a school system we haven’t done a lot to help students with poetry reading,  poetry interpretation and analysis of poetry,” said Hobbs. “There are a lot of challenges, and we’re hoping that students want to and will do well on the MCAS. We would like to see more participation because there’s a lot to be gained from doing well on the MCAS.”

Benefits that come from succeeding on the MCAS include the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship gives non-need-based state-supported undergraduate tuition waivers to students who score advanced in one category (Math/English) and at least proficient in another (Math/English) on the tenth grade MCAS. In 2012, 55 students received the scholarship; in 2013, 58 students; and in 2014, 57 students did.

“I definitely want to prepare for it because it gets harder every year. I have a hard time comprehending poetry, so these sessions are very helpful,” said sophomore Brenda Chaves.

Students also have trouble comprehending questions from nonfiction articles. In the past, students have struggled with deciphering charts and graphs, so attending these sessions can help them develop some sort of strategy.

“I try to focus on getting students to pick out the main details because the test will have answers that will include some details but not the main one, and that often trips students up,” said Vessels.

All tenth grade students have written many essays since middle school, but some students still have problems successfully writing the long composition.

“Students struggle with topic development, and the whole grade is based on topic development,” said Menanson, “so if they don’t get thesis statements, topic sentences and lots of details they won’t do well. We want more students to come for help, but it seems like they can’t be bothered to get the help they need.”

Tenth grade is a crucial year for MCAS testing, and it’s important that students feel prepared so they aren’t nervous when taking the test.

“I feel more confident after attending these sessions because they’re a good refresher and good practice, and we’ve taken these tests for years so as long as you know what to expect there’s really nothing to worry about,” said sophomore Morgan Nelson.

While tenth grade is the important MCAS year, eighth graders also have their own English MCAS this year; however, they haven’t been having any practice sessions.

“This year, the school received a smaller grant than in the past, so we chose to put those funds into supporting the program for 10th graders, first, who need to pass MCAS to graduate,” said Curriculum Director Todd Wallingford.

Teachers want their students to do well and pass the MCAS, so they can graduate. Every year they are surprised and excited by the test scores.

“It’s like trying to predict the winner of a football game,” said Hobbs. “I think everyone is capable of doing well on the MCAS, and I hope that everyone will do well on the MCAS.”

MCAS sessions are still available until next week, so for any students who need help there’s still time left to get it.


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by Jack Snow

A brand new text-messaging system called SchedU is now being offered to the students of HHS; it provides notifications about a student’s class schedule every morning.

The system sends out a text with the student’s schedule between 6:00 and 6:30 every morning, even adjusting to snow days. SchedU is not an app and works on all types of cellular devices. The program comes in two forms; a free version which offers standard texts notifying users with their schedule at the start of each day, and a premium version which allows a variety of other features (such as the ability to see schedules for future days and an end-of-the-year countdown); the premium version, however, costs $5.

The service was created by four students at Nashoba High, Adam Vigneaux (the designer and manager who maintains the efficiency of the system), Eric Watterson (creator of the SchedU logo and most promotional content), Tristan Taylor (in charge of communicating with advertisers) and Katie Agretelis (writer of special communications to be sent out to users).

“The idea for SchedU came up at the beginning of the school year,” says Adam. “ I came up with the idea for an automatic text every morning with your class schedule. The problem was forgetting my schedule and the solution was SchedU.”

“I had to learn how to do everything before I could actually do it. If I wanted to add a new feature, I would have to spend double or triple the amount of time on it that an experienced programmer would.”

Despite the rough beginnings, Adam and his team have adapted and learned how to organize the system with ease. “Over the five months I’ve been developing SchedU, I went from clueless to experienced in a new programming language. It has been a great learning experience and a very rewarding extracurricular activity.”

The immediate response to SchedU was not strong.

“It isn’t easy to get people to sign up for SchedU,” says Adam. “The first 40 users were my close friends. The next 60 were mostly people in my grade. After that, we had to expand our horizons: we went to freshman study skills every day and signed a bunch of freshmen up; we talked to total strangers in the cafeteria; and we used a number of other strategies to convince people to sign up.”

In the end, their hard work paid off. As of January 2014, there were a total of 347 members at Nashoba High consisting of students and even teachers.

With such a strong reaction from their own school, the SchedU creators looked to expand. Presently, SchedU is now offered to students at HHS, Tahanto and Bromfield, as well as Nashoba High.

After hearing about SchedU from a friend, freshman Lindsey Dalrymple decided to sign up. “I’m constantly forgetting my schedule every day, so it seemed like a great way to get organized. It also seemed really convenient,” says Dalrymple.

“[The website] was very clear and easy to follow. I didn’t have any trouble finding my way through it. I was surprised at how quick and easy [signing up] was. It took very little time, and I had no issues with it at all.”

Dalrymple has been using SchedU ever since then and completely loves it. “Every day it has been consistent and on time, making my days much easier and making me a lot more organized. I really like the program,” says Dalrymple. “I told many of my friends about it, and they decided to get it, too. They really like it a lot, and we all agree it takes a lot of stress out of mornings.”

As SchedU continues to grow in size and popularity, Vigneaux is unsure about its future.

“I will be graduating at the end of this year, and it will be more challenging to run SchedU from college,” says Vigneaux. “I hope to keep it going at least at Nashoba. We have some ideas about getting an investment and launching SchedU as an actual business, but those ideas are very tentative.”

All things aside, the SchedU creators could not be more thrilled with their experience in making this program.

“I couldn’t do it without the support of my business adviser Tristan Taylor and my marketing officer Eric Watterson,” says Vigneaux. “In the end, I have to thank God for giving me the idea for SchedU because so many good things have come from it.”

For more information about signing up for SchedU, visit

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by McKenzie Roy

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.