News

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The front page of the packet detailing the new senior class election procedure. This packet was distributed to all prospective candidates at a junior class meeting last week. | by Dakota Antelman

by Dakota Antelman

In reaction to issues with over-commitment among class officers, senior student government advisers recently announced sweeping changes to the protocol used to elect senior class officers.

Community Council Adviser Mary Beth Cashman and Senior Class Adviser Erin Cothran announced these changes at a class meeting for current juniors on Wednesday. They imposed new rules about attendance of class officer meetings, while also adding in a vetting period for prospective candidates. These changes were made after meetings with class advisers for all grade levels at HHS. Cothran explains that advisers agreed that changes needed to be made to existing class officer frameworks. She adds that depending on the success of this year’s senior elections, portions of this new framework could be expanded into the lower grades.

“I think that students are under so much pressure these days to have a well built up resume,” Cothran says. “I can hear that. But the problem, especially in the senior class, is that being a class officer really needs to be your priority.”

A packet handed out to juniors at the Wednesday announcement stated that an elected officer who misses more than four weekly meetings will be removed from that position. Cothran says that the attendance policy comes as she and other advisers in the school observe officers being “pulled in many different directions” by sports teams and other extra-curricular activities.

In addition to adhering to the attendance policy, candidates must submit a list of activities with their ballot application. They must explain how they will be able to fit their obligations as a class officer in alongside their other commitments.

This focus on attendance frustrates current junior Alicia Sagastume. She is a class representative on Community Council who is also involved with the HHS Drama Society.

“I think that some of the best leaders in the school are people who participate in more than one activity,” she says. “But because of this new attendance policy that is almost too rigid, there is no way for them to do it.”

Sagastume herself says that she hopes to be elected as a class officer next year. She thinks she will be able to fulfill any role she is elected to but concludes that an officer’s commitment to their position “should be effort based and not attendance based.”

One aspect of the changes that has garnered wider support from current hopeful candidates is the set of new expectations, which serve to take a perceived popularity vote out of the elections.

“What’s been frustrating to watch is when there’s been the same student elected every year. They’ve done really good jobs. They’ve planned fabulous ring breakfasts and wonderful proms, and then come senior year, other people decide to run and it becomes a popularity contest,” Cothran says.

She says that the scenario she has described has played out in each of the last three senior elections. She adds, “It’s not to say that the people elected aren’t good at their job. But it’s a little bit sad to watch a class just decide they want somebody new when they’re not thinking about all the great things that they’ve done.”

The new expectations and election timeline add in a space where candidates must make speeches to their class. Cothran hopes that this time allows students with long histories in student government to remind their classmates of their prior successes as class officers. She also hopes that the faculty panel, which will interview candidates and evaluate student applications, will succeed in helping to find out which students would adequately represent their grade.

“Kids think it sounds like a lot,” junior class president Jack Snow says of the new process in general. “I think there are some people who thought about running but won’t be. But at the end of the day, I think that this just weeds out who really wants it and who doesn’t.”

The new process gets underway on May 6 when applications and teacher recommendations are due. The faculty panel will interview students on May 11, and the approved ballot will be announced on May 12. From there, candidates must attend a speech writing workshop on May 17. The campaign speeches and the election will be held during Block A on May 25.

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HHS students all gathered in the gym during the lockdown. They were told to shelter in place for close to an hour while K-9 teams swept the school. | by Dakota Antelman

by Dakota Antelman

Hudson High School students and staff spent close to an hour in a “soft lockdown,” on Monday morning after a bomb threat was made against the school. Hudson was one of close to 20 Massachusetts schools to receive bomb threats in what, according to Principal Brian Reagan, is now presumed to be a large scale prank.

The threat was made around 8 A.M. on Monday, when the Hudson front office received a pre-recorded call stating that a bomb had been planted in the school. According to Reagan, HHS administrators, Superintendent Jodi Fortuna, as well as members of the state and town police all met to discuss a plan to deal with the threat. By 8:30, they had notified parents of the threat and had begun moving students into the gym. Students and staff would remain in the gym for just under an hour while K-9 units searched the school.

“The biggest craziness of this was that we had a lot of nets and activities set up in the gym,” wellness teacher Jonathan LeSage, who was teaching a class at the time of the threat, said. “We had to scramble a bit to make sure that it was as safe as possible to have everybody in there.”

by Dakota Antelman
by Dakota Antelman

LeSage and his colleague Dee Grassey’s classes were the first in the building to be notified of the threat. They were told to evacuate the gym briefly while K-9 units sniffed their bags. They soon returned, along with the rest of the school, to wait out the lockdown in the gym.

Reagan described the school’s reaction to the threat as being for “peace of mind.”

“I have [had experiences like this before.] Most if not all of them have been like this one where it’s a non-specific threat,” he said. “Generally from speaking with law enforcement, things like these that aren’t specific with a time or location, that’s usually an indication that it’s a prank.”

Nevertheless, the school has received criticism for its decision to gather the entire student body in the gym without having the K-9 units check any bags other than those of the students who were already in gym class.

“When we look back on it, would we have had kids leave their bags up in the rooms?” Reagan said. “We could have. But then you run the risk of kids with medical needs needing to have stuff with them in their bags. It was one of those decisions you make spur of the moment. Given the severity of it, we thought it was okay to have kids take their bags.”

Within minutes of receiving the threat, Reagan and the state police became aware of dozens of other threats across the state.  Schools in Cambridge, Boston, and as nearby as Marlborough all went into lockdown due to similar low-level threats.

Overall, Monday’s events left students feeling admittedly sullen and somewhat anxious as they proceeded through the remainder of their day.

“It’s been pretty quiet,” LeSage said. “I think people are a little self-reflective when something like this comes up. People were thinking like ‘What if something like this did happen in our school?’”

He and Reagan both also noted the number of students who either dismissed themselves or called their parents to pick them up following the lockdown.

“I was disappointed to see so many people so quick to dismiss,” Reagan explained. He added, however, that, in response to parental complaints, students who left school following the threat will be able to make up work they missed.

Monday’s events are just the latest in a wave of low-level threats to area school systems. As recently as January, 17 schools in Massachusetts received threats. Monday’s threats now push the total number of such incidents recorded this year past 30, according to a Fox25 report.

“These are things we can’t necessarily avoid,” Reagan said of the surge in threats. “We’re just hopeful that it doesn’t become a regular occurrence.”

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by Rylee Cowie

Jeff Lassey was an honors student at Doherty High School in Worcester. He played on many elite soccer teams. During his sophomore year, he decided that he wanted to fit in with the cool kids and started partying. His grades began to drop, and he was getting kicked out of school. One night, his friends convinced him to drive the getaway car in an armed robbery. The kids killed a man in the process, and Jeff was arrested at age 17. He served 9 years in prison, and he is now spending his time speaking to students about his story. He spoke to freshmen on March 24, 2016.

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Patsy (Nayiri Bekiarian), Lancelot (Buren Andrews), and Bedevere (Zack Carme) watch and listen to Tim.

by Stephanie Petrovick

Watch the video above to see some of the highlights from Spamalot!

Spamalot is a play made by the Monty Python troupe of comedians which was recently performed by the Drama Society. Spamalot is a retelling of the story of King Arthur, complete with collecting the knights of the round table and then setting off and trying to find the Holy Grail on the orders of God while singing, dancing, and making jokes. Arthur leads his knights through deadly challenges, defeating a killer rabbit, making it past French taunters, and outsmarting the Knights of Ni. The knights all have their own separate adventures, which reveal the love of Sir Robin for drama and acting, and the fact that Sir Lancelot is gay, among many other things. The play ends with finding the Holy Grail in the audience and King Arthur marrying Guinevere, the Lady of the Lake.

spamalot-by-the-numbers (2)

Character’s Funniest Quotes:

Garet Mildish (King Arthur): “A lot of them aren’t even lines, necessarily, they’re really just moments where I’m more reacting to other people. Probably when I’m reacting to the knights who say ‘ni,’ and it’s just in such a terrified way even though they’re just kind of absurd.”

Nayiri Bekiarian (Patsy): “Probably ‘What could they possibly do with a cow?’ because they throw a cow at me right after, and I die, but I come back to life real quick.”

Scott Kall (Sir Robin): “Most memorable line would probably be, for him, the title of his song, which is ‘You won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews.” Which I think is really memorable for him because it’s just him being a goofball. And it just leads into this hilarious song that he does all big and musical theater-y. But the other iconic line he has besides that song is when there’s a whole scene where God’s talking to them, and he’s talking about the grail. And he calls it the quail, and Arthur was like ‘No, the vessel they used at the last supper,’ and he’s [Robin’s] like ‘They had a boat at the last supper?’”

Buren Andrews (Sir Lancelot): “My favorite line is probably, ‘Leave him alone!’ Which is leading up to my coming out as a gay knight. The scene before that, Prince Herbert is kind of being harassed by his father, and I’ve sort of seen his father be a jerk to him the whole scene. And even though I come to save him and I realize he’s not a woman, I kind of brushed it off like, ‘Alright that’s not what I thought it was.’ But eventually it’s kind of like, ‘Okay this guy needs help.’ And I break apart him and his dad, who’s kind of trying to give him crap, and I just scream at the top of my lungs ‘LEAVE HIM ALONE!’ And it’s kind of like a monologue about how this guy just needs some love from his father, and that’s when my tender side comes out. And at the end [there’s] silence, and then his father’s like ‘My god, you’re gay’.”

Jack Snow (Dennis/Sir Galahad): “For Galahad, it would probably be that at one point, we’re talking to the French people and I say, “Oh the fiends! They don’t have an ounce of chivalry!” and that’s my favorite line.”

Zack Carme (Sir Bedevere): “My most memorable line would probably have to be when I say, ‘Oh dear!’ When I mess up the thing with the rabbit in the French taunter scene.”

Amanda Lattanzi: (Lady of the Lake/Guinevere): “There’s a line that’s talking about Lancelot, and it’s after Lancelot comes out as gay. There’s a scene with me and Arthur, and Arthur says, ‘I thought you were a fairy,’ and I say, ‘Oh no, that’s Lancelot.’ And yea, that’s probably the funniest thing I say.”

 

Most Challenging Parts:

Garet Mildish (King Arthur): “The most challenging part for me is how often I’m supposed to be relied on because I have never played such an important character before this. Before this I played a few minor characters in Producers, and I played a character who was there a few times but didn’t talk. So now I’ve got one of the biggest roles in the entire show, and it was a daunting task when I first saw it and it’s still a daunting task now.”

Nayiri Bekiarian (Patsy): “I think not laughing at certain parts on stage, like I’m trying to keep my cool.”

Scott Kall (Sir Robin): “This show is surprisingly exhausting. I feel like I am running around a lot more in this show than I have in any other previous show. We have two big numbers in a row in Act 1, and then we go into this like runaway sequence at the end of Act 1, and we’re running away and I feel like I’m so out of breath the whole time. It’s like, ‘I’ve gotta sing this really high note, and then hold it’ and then it’s like [gasping]. And then, during my big song in Act 2, it’s the same thing. And I feel like that’s been very challenging for me because I just need more stamina for this show than I usually do. For my character it’s probably the age thing because it’s like he is a 7 year old in a 40 year old’s body, and I kind of have to make him seem middle aged almost physicality-wise, [because] physically he’s not going to be a 7 year old. And it can be constricting sometimes, but at least with his young personality it seems like it doesn’t make a difference.”

Buren Andrews (Sir Lancelot): “My character has his moments but I’m definitely sort of a side character. And sometimes I’m on stage, but I don’t really have anything to do that’s integral to the plot, so often times I’m just kind of acting without saying anything. And that’s a challenge because when you’re interacting with other characters and just being in character in the moment, you kind of have to make up stuff that your character would do, say, gestures. And that’s kind of challenging sometimes. Also remembering the songs, dances, and lines in general is hard. I think the hardest thing honestly is not that but having faith that you can do that, because there’s a lot of anxiety that comes out of that, especially coming up on tech week. It always turns out fine, but it’s really hard to grasp that.”

Jack Snow (Dennis/Sir Galahad): “I think the most challenging part is just really going for it, which is something that I think is a challenge in any show you do, especially for me. I’m still pretty new at theater, so it’s just working up my comfort and forcing myself to really bring it to the level it needs to be at.”

Zack Carme (Sir Bedevere): “I’d say the most challenging part of the play is probably the sword fight I’m in with the Black Knight because there’s a lot of choreography and stuff that we have to do. It’s very complicated, and there’s a lot of machinery involved and things like that.”

Amanda Lattanzi: (Lady of the Lake/Guinevere): “The most challenging [part] for me, and the rest of the cast probably, is Camelot because every single person is on stage. There’s a ton of people, and some of the timing with the pit is kind of hard, so that’s probably the hardest part.”

Spamalot Quiz:

Click the link below to take the quiz and see what Spamalot character you are!

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by Elizabeth DiLauro

maple-whoopie-pies

On Wednesday, March 16, Drama Society met together to celebrate pi day which is the day to celebrate mathematics by bringing in different types of pies, such as pizza, whoopie pies, apple pies, blueberry pies, etc. They ate several pieces of pie, discussed upcoming plays such as the competitive plays, an ATS (Advanced Theater Studies) directed play The Crucible, and other theater-related things like an Instagram account that recognizes drama students and their successes. The recipe above shows only one type of pie that this group of students enjoyed. The meeting concluded with drama teacher Kathleen McKenzie stating, “Last call for pie. No one will judge you if you have a fifth piece!”

 

 

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(From left to right) Rebecca Beaudoin, Mike DeProfio, Amanda Beaudoin, Buffy Cautela stand at the Salem Film Festival where Rebecca Beadoin's documentary was screened. | submitted photo

by Dakota Antelman

Months after her sister, the only girl in the Hudson High School football program, quit the eighth-grade team, Rebecca Beaudoin’s documentary on the subject won a spot in Salem Film Fest Student 5 Minute Documentary Contest.

Beaudoin and a group of classmates traveled with media teacher Lynda Chilton to the Salem Film Festival on March 15, where her documentary was one of 13 five-minute documentaries screened. Beaudoin was the only student out of three Hudson students to have their documentaries accepted to the Salem Film Festival. She explains that she was astonished when she was told she had been chosen.

“I had talked to Ms. Chilton about submitting it, but I thought I had missed the deadline,” Beaudoin said. “I never knew that she submitted it without telling me. I woke up one Sunday morning to see a random email that I was a finalist in the film fest and I just got super excited.”

Amanda Beaudoin (64) and Matt Haley (18) block during a youth football game. | submitted photo
Amanda Beaudoin (64) and Matt Haley (18) block during a youth football game. | submitted photo

Beaudoin recently completed her documentary, “Game Changer,” for her TV News class. The five-minute documentary featured interviews with her own father Jeff Beaudoin, and her sister’s youth football coach Scott Guisti. The documentary profiled the struggles current eighth grader Amanda Beaudoin faced this past fall while also focusing on Amanda’s first season playing football.

“It was interesting for me,” Beaudoin explains. “I had never done a documentary, so trying to think of different documentary styles and how I wanted to film things and add soundtracks was interesting because I had never done it before.”

Beaudoin adds that she thinks the film became a bonding experience for her family. In fact, Rebecca states that perhaps her favorite moment from the documentary process was the moment she first showed a draft of the film to her family.

“The day before the documentary was due, I did a little practice showing in front of my family and my family friend who was over for dinner,” she explains. “It was the first time anybody had seen it. I thought it was just the rough cut, but it ended up becoming the final edition. Everybody’s expression and enjoyment of watching it was so great. It gave me more confidence when I turned it in.”

Rebecca, a senior, has long been involved in filmmaking at Hudson High School. She explains that she loved on-camera work before eventually transitioning to technical work behind the camera. Now, she says that she has “fallen in love with engineering.” She plans to major in engineering in college, but, encouraged by her success at the Salem Film Festival says she wants to keep making movies as a hobby.

Overall, for Rebecca, and her entire family, the acclaim given to her documentary only furthers the message she sought to convey in her piece.

“I wanted my documentary to be more aimed towards parents. If you prevent somebody from doing something that they feel really passionate about, that’s not a good thing. Meeting new people, trying new things is always what my family strives to do,” she says, echoing a sentiment expressed by her father in the documentary itself. “I thought that maybe this documentary would be able to get that across.”

The documentary is available at HudTV’s Vimeo page

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Entrance into polls at Hudson High | by Siobhan Richards

by Brian Twomey

On March 1, I interviewed several voters as they exited Hudson High School’s polling station. These five voters told me whom they voted for, why they voted for that candidate, and who they thought would win the primary.

 

  1. Tom

 

2. Kevin

 

3. Victor

 

4. No Name

 

5. Married Couple

 

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by Dakota Antelman | statistics via Town of Hudson

by Dakota Antelman

 

When Hudson voters head to the polls for the Massachusetts Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections on Tuesday, recent polls suggest they may break with trends set in the 2008 and 2012 elections. 

A Suffolk University Poll released on Sunday projects Republican businessman Donald Trump to win Massachusetts as a whole by nearly 20 percentage points. Trump has won every state that has voted this year except for Iowa and has maintained his lead over rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz even as the once crowded field of Republican candidates has thinned. A different Suffolk University Poll released on Monday gives Democrat Hillary Clinton a 9% lead over her key liberal opponent, Bernie Sanders. 

A win for Trump would reflect a change in loyalties among Republican voters in Massachusetts and, closer to home, in Hudson. On the contrary, a Clinton victory would mark the second time in the past eight years that the former Secretary of State has won Massachusetts.

Records of how each of Hudson’s seven precincts have voted in the past two presidential elections helps illustrate presidential politics inside Hudson, while also helping to contextualize the potentially historic upcoming 2016 primary.

 

Hillary Clinton won Hudson and won Massachusetts in 2008. When that year’s primary ballots were cast, Clinton remained in a neck-and-neck race with Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination, an honor Obama eventually won. 

Clinton dominated in towns across the state, winning handily in Hudson and eventually beating Obama 56% to 41% state-wide. 

Mitt Romney won Massachusetts’ Republican primary, beating eventual party nominee John McCain 51% to 41%. Likewise, Romney, who was governor in Massachusetts in the early 2000s, won Hudson. Nevertheless, Romney suspended his campaign in the weeks following the Massachusetts Primary as McCain began to cement himself as the Republican favorite.

2008’s results in Hudson represented a base of Republicans and Democrats with intense loyalty to their party’s “establishment” candidates. In 2008, both Clinton and Romney were seasoned politicians with power within their own parties.

 

 

In 2012, Barack Obama ran an unopposed primary campaign as he hoped to extend his presidency through another term. He won Hudson with little voter turnout. 

In the jam-packed Republican race, Mitt Romney won Massachusetts for the second straight election cycle. He won Hudson’s votes by a wide margin, beating Ron Paul and Rick Santorum by nearly 1000 votes each. Though his margin of victory in Massachusetts as a whole was smaller, Romney soon coasted to the Republican nomination and eventually lost to Barack Obama in the general election. 

Voter turnout among Democrats was understandably low in the 2012 primary with no challengers to Obama within his party. On the Republican side, though Romney eventually won, the small groups of anti-establishment Republicans that sprung up early in that election season were beginning to gain momentum. That brought nearly 1,400 Republicans to Hudson polling stations that year. Tea Party figurehead Michele Bachmann lingered through the primary season and gathered a handful of votes from Hudson. Ron Paul earned over 150 votes in Hudson that year as well following his work in 2008 to cultivate libertarianism within the Republican party. 

by Dakota Antelman | statistics via Town of Hudson
by Dakota Antelman | statistics via Town of Hudson

 

Voter turnout is regularly low during primary elections. Only 339 Democrats and 1,383 Republicans cast ballots in 2012. In total, only 1,721 of Hudson’s 19,000 residents voted. Four years earlier, when both parties had contested primaries, only 5,821 Hudson residents voted in the primary election.

Polls for this year’s Democratic and Republican primary elections open at 7am Tuesday morning and close at 8pm Tuesday night.

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The set of Spamalot. | Stephanie Petrovick

by Stephanie Petrovick

The Drama Society has two upcoming plays. The first is Two Rooms, and it is being performed on February 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. in the Mini Theater. The second and bigger production, Spamalot, will first be performed on March 4 in the auditorium.

Two Rooms is this year’s festival play, and it is small, with only a four-character cast. Two Rooms is the story of a man who is taken hostage by terrorists, and his wife builds a room that she believes is an exact copy of the room her husband is being kept in. She tries to talk to her husband in this room, and the story shows the different events in both copies of the room.

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Costumes for both plays. | Stephanie Petrovick
Spamalot is the next big play produced by the Drama Society. If you liked the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, then you will like this play as well. Spamalot follows the quest of King Arthur as he collects knights from across the land and brings them with him on a quest for the Holy Grail. The group faces many wacky obstacles, and it contains funny and ridiculous characters.